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Many people may think that the expat life in Costa Rica is only for retirees. But with the rise in internet-based remote business, more and more young families are moving in – and bringing the kids along for the ride.

 

If you want to give your children the fabulous experience of living in a different culture and learning a new language, but still want them to receive high-quality education – know there are 4 wonderful private schools in the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica ready to offer the whole experience.

 
These are the top Guanacaste private schools preferred by Gringos in Tamarindo.

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Costa Rica International Academy (CRIA)

Location: Brasilito (25+ minutes north of Tamarindo)

 

First up is the Costa Rica International Academy (CRIA). As a bilingual school (English and Spanish), all of the teachers are certified in the United States, Canada, or Costa Rica. There is also duel accreditation – by both the U.S. and the Costa Rican Ministry of Education.

 

The rigorous academics are combined with culture-based learning approaches. Subjects such as art, P.E./sports, local studies, and gardening, are taught in Spanish. And excursions to locations such as the Caribbean coast and various volcanoes are included in the studies.

 

Students also learn popular local water sports including: snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, and – of course – surfing.

La Paz Community School

Location: Playa Flamingo (30+ minutes north of Tamarindo)

 

The next private school for children in Tamarindo is La Paz Community School.

 

This is also a duel language program offering instruction from preschool through high school. As an International Baccalaureate authorized school, you can feel confident that your child will have full preparation for college.

 

Aside from all the regular studies, La Paz places an emphasis on “Peace Practices” – focusing on learning peace among self, family, community, and the world. Mornings even start with a “morning meeting” that includes a time of silent meditation.

 

An aspect of environmental protection is included in the curriculum. Students learn from their environment not only by culture and language studies, but also by taking excursions to Costa Rican highlights – like volcano studies at Rincon de la Vieja.

Guanacaste Waldorf School

Location: 20 minutes southeast of Tamarindo

 

Many parents may already be familiar with the Waldorf schools and their style of imaginative and artistic learning. A bilingual Waldorf campus just happens to be in the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica.

 

This Guanacaste private school is only for preschool and elementary/primary school students. For early education, “The child learns from thoughtful prepared activities and daily celebration of life.” In grade school education, “academics are introduced in an artistic, experiential and thoughtful way that meets the development of each child.”

Educarte

Location: 15+ minutes northeast of Tamarindo

 

Our final bilingual Guanacaste private school is Educarte by St. Joseph. Along with a desire for high academic standards, Educarte combines the arts and care for the environment into their studies.

 

Through visual arts, music, and dance, Educarte offers their programs with a strong art and expression focus. They encourage students to create the own learning experiences this way.

 

Not only does the school itself try to minimize its own footprint through recycling and “clean campaigns,” they also actively try to have an impact on their community through lectures and programs on ecology and ethics to increase awareness among young students.

 

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Most of the time when people think about buying real estate in Costa Rice, they think of one thing: tropical paradise homes. Whether these investors want a vacation spot to enjoy or a rental property to profit from (or a mix of both), residential real estate is a hot ticket item in Costa Rica.

 

But don’t completely forget about another way to invest in Costa Rican real estate. Commercial properties have great benefits too. Here are 5 reasons to consider investing in commercial Costa Rica real estate.

1. You Do Not Have To Be A Resident

If you are hoping to get into real estate investment outside of your home country, Costa Rica is a fabulous option for many reasons. But one of the top reasons to choose this Central American country is the fact you do not have to be a resident to buy property.

 

Other than beachfront property (which has some different rules), your experience buying commercial real estate as a foreigner is the same as a local.

2. Tourism Will Be Your Friend

Locals will not be the only people supporting the profit of your commercial property; the tourist and expat population will help it thrive.

 

Whether you are buying the commercial property to lease it out, or you hope to run your own business on it, you can benefit from a busy, bustling country with strong infrastructure and plenty of tourists with money to spend.

3. Leases May Be Longer

The downside to the tourist nature is many home rentals are often short-term. Most people want a few days, a couple weeks, or a month (if you are lucky) during high seasons. While this can be a fast cash flow, it is:

 

  • More work throughout the year to secure tenants
  • Not a stable income you can count on

 

You can have longer lease terms with businesses at your commercial property. It’s less of a headache and consistent income. Win/win.

4. Benefit From Objective Pricing

If you are purchasing commercial land that has already been developed, you can have access to the current financials. This helps take some of the guesswork out of profit forecasting.

 

Residential properties often do not come with such detailed reporting of loss/gain. This is not always a terrible thing if you simply want to move in, but it can be a negative if you want to rent for profit.

 

However, you cannot always trust the previous owner with 100% guarantee. That is why point #5 is so vitally important.

5. You Have Access To Great Team Members

Whenever you buy an investment property in another country (or when you buy commercial investment property anywhere), having a trustworthy team is imperative.

 

Your lawyer, real estate agent, and accountant can turn this into a great or terrible experience.

 

This is why buying property in another country can be a daunting experience. Fortunately, Costa Rica is home to many phenomenal English-speaking professionals who can take you step by step through the commercial property buying process.

 

Start off that team with a real estate agent who knows the area and knows how to get you your ideal commercial property. Contact Richard at Richard@cbtamarindo.com today.

 

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You never know what life is going to bring next. Even those of us with the top job security or those in the safest countries in the world could have life turn around in the blink of an eye.
 
That is why you should always have a ‘Plan B’ – a place to escape everything from catastrophic situations to a hectic season of life.
 
Why not make a home in Costa Rica that ‘Plan B’? After all, the comfort of knowing you always have another home no matter what happens allows you to enjoy that “Pura Vida” life worry-free.
 
Here is how to make your home in Costa Rica your backup plan:

1. Emergency Shelter

If any emergency pops up in your home country and you need a safe refuge for a time, your Costa Rican home can be your place of escape.
 
Since it is incredibly easy for foreigners to buy property and live in Costa Rica, you could stay comfortably during the time you need to be away.
 
Costa Rica is a safe country without a military. You do not have to worry about attacks and uprisings. You do not have to worry about uncontrollable violent crime. This is the land of “Pura Vida” after all!
 
Becoming a resident is not a complicated process, or simply staying for an extended visit is easy as well.
 
The reassurance of knowing you have a beautiful, safe, comfortable country and home to escape to can bring you and your family confidence no matter what happens at home.

2. Have Another Option

Having a ‘Plan B’ is not always as serious as dangerous weather or terrorist uprisings in your home country. Sometimes, a ‘Plan B’ is just another option on the table.
 
Let’s take retirement, for example. Sometimes retirement is planned out down to the very last detail, but sometimes unexpected things happen.
 
If you already have a vacation home in Costa Rica, you always have a place to retire to. You can live simply and inexpensively in Costa Rica while still enjoying a luxurious retirement lifestyle in gorgeous weather and a laid back community.
 
If you are interested in purchasing a vacation home in Costa Rica that can turn into your backup plan – you are going to want a real estate agent who knows the area well and can guide you in the right direction. Contact Richard at Richard@cbtamarindo.com.
 

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Have you ever wondered how Tamarindo, Costa Rica, became such a beloved surf spot? Of course, it is a fabulous location with ideal swells, so who could blame tourists and expats for flocking in? But Costa Rica is filled with idyllic areas like these.
 

How did Tamarindo, out of so many other areas in this Central American country, become the “it” spot…. the hot tourist location it is today?
 
The big screen!
 
In 1964 the surfing world made its Hollywood debut with the cult classic: Bruce Brown’s Endless Summer, a documentary following the lives of two surfers traveling the world “in search of the perfect wave.”
 
One of the surfing stars: Robert August, an American from California.
 
August, along with Mike Hynson, visited Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, and Hawaii. This movie took surfing, the surfer’s lifestyle, and surf-driven tourism to a whole new level.
 
30 years later, Endless Summer II came out and officially made Tamarindo the surfing mecca it is today.
 
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Bruce Brown and Robert August teamed up to film a portion in Tamarindo, following two new young surfers as they traveled the world searching for that perfect wave. They focused on two local spots:
 
- Witch’s Rock

- Ollie’s Point

 

 

 
 
 
 

Here is a five-minute clip of the Costa Rican segment of Endless Summer II: VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVI6J3Gc1-Q
 
During filming, August built a home in Tamarindo and became a regular part of the surfing community.
 
Without a doubt, with Endless Summer II and Robert August’s move to Tamarindo, this small Costa Rican beach town became known as “the spot” to go for surfing tourists.
 
Of course there are countless other amazing things to do in Tamarindo – from relaxing on the gorgeous beaches and sipping a cold beer to eating at the large variety of restaurants or exploring the adventure activities.
 
That is why Tamarindo is well loved by families and retirees – not only young surfers. But Tamarindo will always be that surfer’s haven… ready for your own endless summer.
 
Image Source: http://witchsrocksurfcamp.com/legend-robert-august/.

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So you want to buy a home in the beautiful Costa Rica? We happen to think that is a great idea!

 

But before you go house hunting – and especially before you put in any offers –you should meet with a local realtor.

 

In the long run, buying a home in Costa Rica without a realtor will cost you time and money. There is no need for that in the land of Pura Vida. Time is better spent lying in a hammock, sipping a cold beer, and watching the sunset.

 

Here are four reasons you should absolutely enlist the help of a realtor before buying a home in Costa Rica.

1. Realtors Know The Area

This is not your country… at least, not yet! You will never be as familiar with the lay of the land as an experienced realtor.

 

Even if you have vacationed to Costa Rica for 20 years in a row, you still won’t understand all tiny details about home value, future plans and zoning, or neighborhood culture.

 

Your realtor can take a list of everything you’ve been hoping for – and lead you to the property of your dreams. With the perfect house. On the perfect lot. In the perfect neighborhood. Within the perfect town.

2. Realtors Understand The Legalities

Just like every other country, Costa Rica has its own rules about buying real estate. Local realtors have done this time and time again. They know the ins and outs of the system.

 

Allow them to guide you through the process of owning a property in a foreign country. This way you can rest assured that not only everything will be legal, everything will also be set up without too much research or trial-and- error on your part.

3. Realtors Can Block Your From Scams

Whenever you are out of your element, your chances of accidentally falling for a scam shoot up. You may be a pro and buying property in your home country, but that does not mean you know what to expect about buying property in Costa Rica.

 

If an inexperienced gringo shows up with a bunch of money to buy a house and limited knowledge on the real estate practices of the country, that gringo could potentially be a prime target.

 

Your Costa Rican realtor knows exactly what to look for. They know how much property should cost. They know the history of homes and condominium complexes. They know who has a trustworthy reputation, and who to stay away from.

 

Make sure you choose a local realtor who has spent time in the country and knows the area well. Choose a realtor who prides himself or herself on connecting expats to their luxurious haven in Costa Rica. Contact Richard at Richard@cbtamarindo.com.

 

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Image Source: https://wanderwithjo.com/costa-rica-road-trip-itinerary/
 

The best advice we can offer is to leave your frame of driving reference behind and be willing to accept what you get, maybe even learn to enjoy it!  Local driving customs may annoy and frustrate you but that is a choice we make. The flip side is to view local driving as a charming Costa Rica experience with a much  lower probability of being pulled over by the man!

 

Rolling violations are very rare.  Most violations are generated from random stops or radar with the MOPT (Ministry of Public Works and Transport) officers standing by, donned in white starched shirts with inappropriate smiles on their faces!

 

Maybe I shouldn’t be sharing this but one time we were headed to Liberia and I got nailed by a guy with a radar gun.  My 80+ year old mom and wife were in the car and by the time I realized that he wanted me to pull over I was past him. I’ll let your imagination finish the story… Not my finest move but certainly memorable!

 

Anyway, back to you.  When you come please realize that we are visitors here, if a Costa Rican wants to pull over on a two lane highway to talk to a friend we just need to understand and drive accordingly.  No sense getting bothered by it but the important lesson is to keep your eyes on the road at all times because most of us are not programed for these new driving events.

 

Patience is the key, we have many truck and agricultural vehicles traveling at slow speed and it’s natural to want to pass but be careful, trees create shaded areas and it is sometimes very difficult to truly see what’s coming.

 

A family of three on a motor scooter is a common sight.  This is pretty scary to witness but when you grow up getting around like this, it’s what you do!  Please watch out for two wheelers of all sorts!

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Image Source: https://mytanfeet.com/about-cr/tips-for-driving-in-costa-rica/
 

Going off road is a thrill, especially during the rainy season.  If you are coming between June and December, renting a four wheel drive vehicle is the way to go.  It is so much fun crossing rivers and exploring.  The best way to discover Costa Rica is to get lost, turn around and try again, there is something beautiful awaiting you around every bend.

 

Mainly do not expect that your way of driving should be the standard of excellence. This is Costa Rica, excellent driving is defined by not hurting anyone yourself included and your rental car too!

 

Pura Vida!

 

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View from road 2, good

 

Buying a fixer upper hoping to make money on it always takes a good amount of knowledge, some decent investigative skills, and a top-notch team of professionals to advise you.

 

But buying that fixer upper in another country like Costa Rica? You really need to locate and rely on the top real estate agent in that area.

The golden rule for making money on a Costa Rican fixer upper: Partner Up With A Good Realtor.

Why? Well, if you want to buy a fixer upper and work on it as a fun project that will eventually become your family’s tropical vacation oasis – that is one thing.

 

If you intend to make money by reselling your fixer upper in Costa Rica (or making it a hot ticket rental), you will have to know all of the ins and outs of these three factors:

1. Location

You are going to have countless questions about location. And since this isn’t your home country, you probably will not be so sure about the answers:

 

What areas sell well? What areas interest expats? What areas do tourists visit? What areas are underpriced now, but will pick up steam in a few years? What areas are already the premier neighborhoods that just may happen to have one fixer upper?

 
Realtors can answer these questions and will also be able to let you in on things like:
 
- The reputation of this particular seller/real estate company before you buy

- If there is ever water shortage in the community during dry season

- Structural problems (or connect you with a good inspector)

- How much you updated property should sell for in the area

2. Permits/Rules/Regulations

Your local real estate agent understands the law of the land. They can explain how to buy legally as a non-citizen, and how to sell legally as a non-citizen.

 

This is wildly important. You do not want to get caught up in paperwork and fees and miscommunications when saving money and time is the way to make money on a fixer upper.

3. Local Contractors/Vendors

Your real estate agent can either recommend or connect you with somebody who can recommend reliable and reputable local contractors and venders.

 

Relying on local labor and local goods is a great way to cut costs and make money on your fixer upper…ONLY if you find honest and fair options. Don’t rely on the person you met at the bar.

 

They can also guide you in the direction of knowing how much those costs will be in reality. You can budget for how much you think they will be all day. But it is important to figure in realistic costs.

 Car park view (2)

And what better place is there to monitor your investment project than in lovely Costa Rica?!

 
If finding a fixer upper in Costa Rica is on your to-do list, reach out to Richard at Richard@cbtamarindo.com.
 

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Don’t be scared off by the term “Rainy Season” here in Costa Rica.  It is our “Green Season”!  Just like any another summer month in most countries, we get beautiful and refreshing afternoon showers to cool things down after a hot, sunny day.  We typically do not get days of full rain that would keep you from going out and enjoying the day.

 
 
 

These rains also bring back the lush tropical environment that you all see in while researching and googling your next trip.  All of us who live here in Guanacaste welcome the rains back with open arms ..  You will often see many locals doing a rain dance in the streets during the first few showers of the year.

Everything seems to come alive again and the local farmers and their livestock couldn’t be happier!
 
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If you are planning a trip here in the months of May – November, you will also enjoy less crowds and often cheaper prices on hotel stays, restaurants, excursions, etc….And there is nothing better than a green season sunset!  The cloud formations make for incredible spectacles in the sky.
 
 
 

So don’t let the term “Rainy Season” fool you or discourage you from coming. Costa Rica is at it’s best these months!
 
Contact us at Coldwell Banker Tamarindo Realty and let us show you what the others are missing!

 

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The world gives us many intriguing sparks to analyze and enrich our knowledge. The animals, plants, minerals, and every single natural event draw our attention and our natural curiosity. We humans have secrets and many of them still do not have an answer.
 
The Blue Zone is a modern concept forged by two academics Gianni Pes and Michel Poulain while working on a demographic study in the Nuoro Province, Sardinia, Italy. Sardinia was long known to produce the highest amount of male centanarians.
 
In addition to Sardinia there are four more zones that were identified and they include Okinawa Island in Japan, Icaria in Greece, Loma Linda in California and the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica. Yes, I said it right, Costa Rica has a Blue Zone, and it’s right in the heart of Guanacaste. So, if you visit our beaches on vacation and you see a bunch of happy and relaxed fellows, well, now you know why!
 
Blue zone photo
 
But what do these places have in common? Dan Buettner, author and Blue Zones founder, identifies common lifestyle characteristics, based on empirical data and first hand observations, such as:
 
-Moderate and regular physical activity
-Life purpose
-Stress reduction
-Moderate calories intake
-Plant-based diet
-Moderate alcohol intake
-Engagement in spirituality or religion
-Engagement in family life
-Engagement in social life
 
Some geniuses around here could say that those aspects are pretty obvious points in order to live well and longer, but, if it’s so obvious why with 7.4 billion humans, just 7.9% are 65 or older? Why is the average age approximately 30 years? The answer is that a lot of people exchange those parameters with some damaging ones and, in most cases, they don’t even realize they are doing it. We aren’t doctors but maybe if you keep living in a polluted environment, eating cheeseburgers (darn, I know they are delicious), drinking Coke, exasperated by the fact of not being able to get that promotion and, “Ooooh, wait, have I gotten fat or is the mirror lying??” Well you know that I could keep going on all night.
 
Now, you can keep this life and be stressed for the rest of your days and teach your kids the same or you can change it. You can make your world better and give the same to your kids. Wouldn’t this be the best inheritance they could get?
 
We obviously took the second option, what will you choose? Moving to Costa Rica’s Blue Zone was the best thing we ever did.
 
It only takes a moment to click for more details to make your future better…what are you waiting for?
 

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1. Surfing

Home 4. Surf
 
Tamarindo has gentle waves, great for beginners. There are many surf schools and board rental shops for all skill levels. Day trips to many nearby beaches with more advanced waves are available by land and boat transportation.
 
2. Canopy Tour

Canopy 2
 
Get your Adrenaline fix while soaring through the treetops of the local forest. See monkeys, iguanas, birds, etc.

 

3. Fishing

d. Sports Fishing
 
There are all types of excellent fishing opportunities, from Deep Sea to on the shore. You keep what you catch.

 

4. Sunset Happy Hour

Tamarindo
 
All along the beach, there are many beachfront restaurants/bars which have 2X1 drink specials. This is the perfect environment from which to enjoy Tamarindo’s amazing sunsets.

 

5. Great variety of restaurants and bars
 
With Tamarindo being a very international community, there are all kinds of delicious cuisine from around the world. Tamarindo is also known for its nightlife, with many bars and discos to choose from.
 
6. Estuary tour

Estuary view
 
Unique boat tour up the Tamarindo Estuary exploring mangrove swamp ecosystem in a national park. Great chance to see crocodiles, monkeys, iguanas, and ocean bird species.

 

7. Take an ATV tour on the beach or through the forest

f. Atv
 
An ATV tour is a great way to see the beautiful scenery and wildlife of the area while having fun going through mud, rivers, and mountain trails.

 

8. Swimming in warm tropical water
 
For most of us, who come from colder climates, bathing in warm tropical water, anytime of the day, is a luxury we can’t afford at home. Swimming and playing in the relaxing year round tropical water will make you want to return to the beach the moment you get back to the cold location you may be from.
 
9. Scuba Dive or Snorkeling at the Catalina Islands
 
The Catalina Islands, off the coast of Flamingo Beach, 20 minutes from Tamarindo, is host to some of the best Scuba Diving and Snorkeling conditions on all of the Pacific Coast of the country.
 
10. Sunset Catamaran tour

a. Catamaran tour\
 
A sunset catamaran tour is a great way to enjoy the scenery of the coastline from a unique perspective you can only get when you are out on the water. Spend the afternoon relaxing in the sun (or shade) with a cocktail in hand, bathing or snorkeling at a secluded beach. The sunsets on the water are breathtaking.

 

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